ERIC Number: ED346240
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Enterprise Zones: A Promise Based on Rhetoric. Occasional Paper 1992-1.
Levitan, Sar A.; Miller, Elizabeth I.
In the 1980s and the early 1990s Congress failed to approve enterprise zone legislation which sought to help revitalize areas of high unemployment, poverty, and crime and low educational achievement by reducing taxes, relieving regulation, and eliminating other barriers to development. Establishment of comprehensive and sustained enterprise zone programs requires a multibillion dollar commitment by Federal and state government. Enterprise zone bills share three characteristics with previous assistance programs: eligibility criteria, limitation on the number of areas receiving assistance, and delineation of the type and level of assistance offered. Enterprise zone bills have been proposed since 1980. Only in 1987 did Congress authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to designate up to 100 enterprise zones; this opportunity has since expired. Given other domestic priorities, the two pending enterprise zone proposals are not likely to be enacted. The British enterprise zone program differs from most U.S. proposals, since its objective was the rehabilitation of old industrial sites. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted enterprise zone legislation. Analyses of these zones have found local commitment essential to their viability. A review of the experiences of five states--Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, and New Jersey--indicates that states are ill equipped to revitalize blighted areas alone. The employment and training of zone residents should be a prime consideration for implementing enterprise zone policies. The most effective strategy to empower the residents of blighted communities involves improving their physical surroundings as well as enabling them to acquire education and skills. (YLB)
Descriptors: Disadvantaged Environment, Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Federal Aid, Federal Legislation, Federal Programs, Free Enterprise System, Incentives, Job Development, Job Training, Policy Formation, Poverty, Poverty Areas, Public Agencies, Public Policy, Slums, State Agencies, State Legislation, State Programs, Unemployment, Urban Areas, Urban Environment, Urban Improvement, Urban Planning, Urban Programs, Urban Renewal
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Center for Social Policy Studies.
Identifiers - Location: Indiana; Maryland; Michigan; New Jersey; Virginia